Ace Magashule locks horns with ANC in a dramatic week of ’step-aside’
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Johannesburg - The embattled ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule has stuck to his guns and refused to render an apology instead turning to court seeking an order to set aside his suspension.
This move has prompted the ANC’s Top Six to discuss the issue at their meeting on Monday.
Magashule approached the South Gauteng High Court to set aside his suspension and an instruction from the ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) to apologise to the party for an unwarranted suspension letter against President Cyril Ramaphosa without authority.
“The ANC has noted court papers filed by the suspended secretary-general, Ace Magashule. The ANC will communicate its way forward on Monday following the regular meeting of National Officials,” said ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe.
The application by Magashule is expected to be heard in court in the next few weeks.
The NEC had said that if Magashule failed to apologize, it would institute disciplinary charges against him.
In a press briefing, party deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte reiterated that “the NEC agreed that Magashule’s conduct was completely unacceptable and a flagrant violation of the rules, norms and values of the ANC”.
Duarte maintained Magashule would be entitled to his salary, saying the same would be accorded to other ANC members affected by the step aside rule.
Magashule said he was unlawfully suspended by the ANC.
In March the NEC gave the affected members 30 days in which to step aside or face suspension at its last meeting at the end of March. Magashule as one of the members facing criminal charges, consulted with former leaders like former presidents Jacob Zuma, Thabo Mbeki, Kgalema Motlanthe and former treasurer-general Mathews Phosa.
Magashule faces corruption charges in the Bloemfontein high court regarding a R255 million asbestos audit contract while he was Free State premier.
Magashule and others were expected to step aside as the 30th-day consultation period had lapsed but he did not step aside, instead he joined the special NEC meeting, he was part of it until members had to discuss the step aside rule, that was when he was moved from the meeting.